Amitabh Bachchan inaugurates IIFA voting weekend

MUMBAI: The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) raised the curtain on the IDEA IIFA Awards 2008 with brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan starting the voting process by casting the first vote. The Industry Voting for the IDEA IIFA Awards Nominations would be open from 28-30 March.

During the IIFA voting weekend, industry stalwarts, actors, directors, producers, technicians, composers and behind the scenes communities are expected to cast their votes, which would decide the nominations for the main awards. This year the star-studded glamorous IIFA weekend is being held from 6 – 8 June in Bangkok, the shopping paradise of Amazing Thailand.

IIFA brand ambassador Bachchan said, "Casting my vote is important as it gives me a chance to participate in the decision making process with my peers in the Indian film industry. It is very heartening to see IIFA grow in scale and prominence over the years. IIFA entering its ninth year is a testament to its endurance and importance in the industry. IIFAs adherence to international guidelines is critical to the results, which are only revealed on the IDEA IIFA Awards night."

The IIFA Weekend and the IDEA IIFA Awards, spearheaded by Wizcraft International Entertainment, is a movement dedicated to promoting Indian cinema and business across the world, providing a global pedestal to encourage international interaction and further business opportunities between India and the host countries.

The IIFA Voting process is a stringent and methodical procedure that is closely monitored by PriceWaterHouse Coopers, the official auditors for the event. The industry is invited to cast their votes and shortlist nominations in the category of the popular awards. The technical award winners and the popular award nominations are derived from this voting weekend.

The popular category nominations are put up on for the global audience to participate in the voting process. The final winners of the IDEA IIFA Awards are revealed by PriceWaterHouse Coopers only on the night of the Awards ceremony when the envelope is opened on stage, in front of the live audience. The results are kept secret and the credibility of the voting process is one of the key parameters of this prestigious award.

Also present at the occasion were IIFA Weekend 2008 associates and supporters IDEA Cellular CMO Pradeep Shrivastava, Star TV CEO Uday Shankar, Head of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in India Chattan Ayudhya, Gitanjali Group GM Commercial Anuj Rakyn, Wizcraft directors Andre Timmins, Sabbas Joseph and Viraf Sarkari amongst others.

IDEA Cellular MD Sanjeev Aga said, "We are keenly looking forward to the celebrations at the IDEA IIFA Awards in Bangkok this year. In this day and age of convergence, the IDEA IIFA Awards signal the coming together of two powerful mediums – Television and Mobile. The day is not far when the power of television will be available on the IDEA mobile platform."

"IIFA has travelled to six countries across the world and has left a mark in the minds and hearts of the people. With the IDEA IIFA Awards 2008, we will continue to provide the impetus for the crossover of Indian cinema to global audiences and delight the Indian diaspora with the grandest celebration of Indian cinema", said Wizcraft International Entertainment director Sabbas Joseph.